Paul Harvey Aurandt (September 4, 1918 – February 28, 2009), better known as Paul Harvey, was an American radio broadcaster for the ABC Radio Networks. He broadcast News and Comment on weekday mornings and mid-days, and at noon on Saturdays, as well as his famous The Rest of the Story segments. His listening audience was estimated at 22 million people a week. Harvey liked to say he was raised in radio newsrooms.
The most noticeable features of Harvey’s idiosyncratic delivery was his dramatic pauses, quirky intonations and his folksiness. A large part of his success stemmed from the seamlessness with which he segued from his monologue into reading commercial messages. He explained his enthusiastic support of his sponsors as such: "I am fiercely loyal to those willing to put their money where my mouth is."
Paul Harvey, born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, made radio receivers as a boy. In 1933, at a high school teacher’s suggestion, he started working at KVOO in Tulsa, where he helped clean up and eventually was allowed to fill in on the air, reading commercials and news.
Later, while attending the University of Tulsa, he continued working at KVOO as an announcer, and later as a program director. Harvey spent three years as a station manager for a local station in Salina, Kansas. From there, he moved to a newscasting job at KOMA in Oklahoma City, then moved on to KXOK, in St. Louis, where he was Director of Special Events and also worked as a roving reporter.
In 1940, Harvey moved to Hawaii to cover the United States Navy as it concentrated its fleet in the Pacific. He was returning to the mainland from assignment in Hawaii when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Harvey served briefly as an enlisted man in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II from December 1943 until March 1944.
After leaving military service, Harvey moved to Chicago, where in June 1944, he began broadcasting from the ABC affiliate WENR. He quickly became the most popular newscaster in Chicago. In 1945, he began hosting the postwar employment program Jobs for G.I. Joe on WENR. Harvey added The Rest of the Story as a tagline to in-depth feature stories in 1946. The spots became their own series in 1976. On April 1, 1951 the ABC Radio Network debuted Paul Harvey News and Comment "Commentary and analysis of Paul Harvey each weekday at 12 Noon". Paul Harvey was also heard originally on Sundays; the first Sunday program was Harvey’s introduction. Later, the Sunday program would move to Saturdays. The program has continued ever since.
From the late 1960s through the early 1980s, there was a televised, five-minute editorial by Paul Harvey that local stations could insert into their local news programs, or show separately. On May 10, 1976, ABC Radio Networks premiered The Rest of the Story as a separate series which provided endless surprises as Harvey dug into stories behind the stories of famous events and people. Harvey’s son, a concert pianist, created and produced the series. He remains the show’s only writer.
In late 2000, Harvey signed a 10-year, $100 million contract with ABC Radio Networks. A few months later, he was off the air after damaging his vocal cords. He returned in late August 2001.
Harvey’s News and Comment is streamed on the World Wide Web twice a day. Paul Harvey News has been called the "largest one-man network in the world," as it is carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations around the world and 300 newspapers. His broadcasts and newspaper columns have been reprinted in the Congressional Record more than those of any other commentator.
Former Senator Fred Thompson, known for his work on NBC’s Law and Order, substituted for Harvey regularly from 2006 to 2007, prior to his unsuccessful run for President. Thompson left the network to run and did not return, instead joining Westwood One in January 2009. Other substitutes for Harvey have included his son Paul Harvey Jr., Doug Limerick, Paul W. Smith, Gil Gross, Ron Chapman, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee Scott Shannon, and Tony Snow. After Huckabee’s sub-hosting, ABC offered him a spin-off program, The Huckabee Report, which launched in early 2009.
Harvey did not host the show full-time after April 2008; when he came down with pneumonia. Shortly after his recovery his wife died on May 3rd, causing him to prolong his time away from broadcasting. Prior to his death, he voiced commercials, new episodes of The Rest of the Story and "News & Comments" during middays a few times a week, with his son Paul Jr. handling mornings.
Harvey’s on-air persona mirrored that of sportscaster Bill Stern. During the 1940s, the famed Stern’s The Colgate Sports Reel and newsreel programs used many of the techniques later used by Harvey, including the style of delivery and the use of phrases such as Reel Two and Reel Three to denote segments of the broadcast — much like Harvey’s Page Two and Page Three. The discovery of many of Stern’s old programs on transcription discs have led many to believe that much of Harvey’s broadcasting style is based on Stern’s work, including most notably the Rest of the Story feature, which is a direct parallel to a technique used weekly by Stern. Stern introduced his version of the feature with a caveat that the stories might not be true; Harvey, however, has asserted that his tales have been authenticated. However, a major urban legend debunking site blames Harvey for the creation of various rumors and urban legends.
Harvey was also known for catch phrases that he uses at the beginning of his programs, like "Hello Americans, I’m Paul Harvey. You know what the news is, in a minute, you’re going to hear … the rest of the story," and, "Paul Harvey News and Comment, and this is … (day of the week)," and at the end: "Paul Harvey … Good day." At the end of a report about someone who had done something ridiculous or offensive, Harvey would say "He would want us to mention his name" (silence) then would start the next item.